Holy conditional assistance!

The other day I was leaving my grocery store. As I’ve written before, there’s a bank just inside the door, and they have a whiteboard out front that often has some mention of their latest loan rate or some special promotion. Or a list of things to do before you die on Christmas.

The sign above was sitting out front a few weeks ago, and the sheer inanity of it made me want to capture the sentiment. At first, I just figured it was a dumb play on words: SUNtrust… SHINE… get it??? Very clever.

But wait! What’s THIS!* A disclaimer?!


It turns out that the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), the government agency responsible for insuring bank deposits, has imposed “Certain restrictions and limitations” on the manner in which member banks such as Suntrust may help you shine.

So of course, I had to go to the FDIC website to determine what kind of restrictions and limitations applied to shining.  (Disclaimer: I did no such thing.)

  • The offer to help you shine refers only to helping you shine, and carries no implicit or explicit offer of financial planning, saving, or retirement assistance.
  • Shine may be applied to leather shoes, boots, and other footwear. Do not attempt to shine Hush Puppies. (Disclaimer: I can attest to this personally.)
  • Not responsible for helping your shin. Please read carefully.
  • Customers must come to the lending establishment to receive shine assistance. We will not take a shine to you.
  • Void where prohibited. Offer not valid on cloudy days, at night, or indoors.
  • The assumption of trust is not intended to be reciprocal. Suntrust does not trust you. We’ve seen your type before, with your shifty eyes and your smooth talk. What have you ever done for us, huh?

I don’t know about you, but a bank-assisted shine is going on my Christmas Bucket List!


* Note: The line, “What’s THIS?” should be read in the style of the brilliant William Dozier, the narrator of the classic 1960’s Batman TV show. Dozier, who was also the creator and executive producer of the series, provided insights to each episode that might have eluded the casual viewer. For example, Dozier never let you forget the financial acumen of “millionaire Bruce Wayne”, the age of “his youthful ward Dick Grayson”, or the style in which they lived at “stately Wayne Manor”, always reassuring the audience that Wayne had not fallen upon hard times, that Dick was not too old to be Robin, and that Wayne Manor had not fallen into disrepair. (My favorite line of the show was when a fellow high school student asked, “Hey, aren’t you millionaire Bruce Wayne’s youthful ward Dick Grayson?”)

Curiously, for a man who prided himself on his executive producing skills, he always seemed surprised when Gotham City’s recent spree of bird- and umbrella-related crimes turned out to be the work of (gasp!) the Penguin! Even Chief O’Hara, not the brightest bulb in the GCPD chandelier himself, generally figured out that the frozen guards at the diamond exhibit were probably the work of Mr. Freeze (and not, say, Egghead) before Dozier did.

Still, Dozier’s voice-overs helped make Batman a classic. See for yourself, in this clip that help explain the confusing plot of 2008’s The Dark Knight:

(Spoiler warning: This clip reveals plot details of The Dark Knight, including (at 0:23 and again at 1:20) the identity of the person in the smeared makeup responsible for the rash of clown-related robberies in Gotham City.)

Trivia: Arkham Asylum was not built until 1974, which meant that Gotham City in the 1960s had few resources to provide treatment to mentally ill villains such as the Joker and the oft-concussed King Tut. As a result, the Gotham City Municipal Court often sentenced convicted felons to exile outside the city limits, as revealed in this deleted scene from the first season episode, “Batman is Riled”:

Chief O’Hara: All right, Joker. Begone with ye, and don’t let me see you around our fair city for at least 4 weeks, maybe five.

Joker: Hooo-ho-ho-ho-ho-ho! (Walks away)

Chief O’Hara: Well, I best be gettin’ back, or Commissioner Gordon won’t have anyone to provide exposition to.

(Turning back to his police car, he notices a man along the side of the road.)

Hey, you! Over there, in the question mark covered spandex! It’s a long walk into the city from here. Can I give you a lift?

Riddler: Heeee-hee-hee-hee-hee-hee!

Chief O’Hara: Begorrah!

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